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Purpose Driven Infinitives

Can Articular Infinitives Without Governing Prepositions Function Adverbially?

Editor's note: Jill Sedlacek was one of my interns at Dallas Seminary for the 2005–06 school year. She read this paper both at the southwestern regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (March 24–25, 2006) and Dallas Seminary's third annual Student Academic Conference on April 7, 2006. Although it is a detailed piece of original work in Greek grammar, it drives home to a conclusion about an aspect of sanctification in Phil 2.12–13.


Sanctification models within Protestantism are all over the map. From “let go and let God” to “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,” the dynamic between the believer and God is defined in varying ways. At the heart of many discussions is Phil 2:12-13. Verse 12 first commands believers to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” while v. 13 then gives the encouraging basis behind this charge θεὸς γάρ ἐστιν ὁ ἐνεργῶν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ τὸ θέλειν καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας (for the one who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure is God).1

Curiously, interpretation of Phil 2:13 is often based on unstated assumptions about its syntax, particularly in the expression “to will and to work.” Most commentators and grammarians who have remarked on the articular infinitives behind these words consider them direct objects of the transitive verb ἐνεργέω (works/produces). 2 However, many prominent, modern translations continue to render the infinitives as above, “to will and to work.”3 While we can only speculate what the translators were thinking about the syntax (and, most likely, the strong tradition of the King James Version carried special weight), it appears by the use of “to” that they may have seen the force of purpose4 or complementary infinitives.5

The motive for this paper is to get at the bottom of the syntactical force of the infinitives in Phil 2:13. The route to do so must be an examination of the articular infinitive in Koine Greek, principally, whether such can ever have the sense of purpose or be a complementary infinitive. The bulk of this paper will investigate the possibility of an adverbial force in general and the syntax of purpose specifically. Whether or not the infinitives are complementary will be a rather brief discussion, because this option is far less likely. The analysis will include data from three corpora: the New Testament, the Septuagint, and the Apostolic Fathers. After summarizing this information, I will return to Phil 2:13 and apply the results of the investigation to this passage. I begin, however, with some background information on the articular infinitive in general.

Infinitives 101

The Greek grammatical forms behind “to will and to work” are two accusative articular infinitives. Infinitives are indeclinable verbal nouns that come in a variety of structural settings and bear several semantic nuances. Their flexibility is based on the fact that they carry features of the verb (tense, voice, and the ability to take both objects and adverbial modifiers) as well as characteristics of the noun (they can be the object of a preposition, have the article or not, and be modified by an adjective).

There are two main points of separation when analyzing the structure in which the infinitive is set. The first is based on the presence of the article. Almost 90% of the infinitives in the New Testament are anarthrous.6 The second point of separation is whether or not an articular infinitive is governed by a preposition.

Though the infinitive does not have gender or number, the article that is attached to it is neuter and singular. Articular infinitives appear in every case besides the vocative.7 Most (199 of 320) articular infinitives in the New Testament are part of a prepositional phrase.8 The remaining 121 articular infinitives are what I will refer to as “simple” as they do not follow a preposition. The infinitives in Phil 2:13 fall into this last category. They are two of seventeen “simple” accusative articular infinitives in the New Testament, two of 59 in our full database including the Septuagint and the Apostolic Fathers.

We have infinitives in English (“to run,” “to write,” and “to eat”) and are familiar with a range of their functions (subject “To run is good exercise,” object “I love to eat”). Nevertheless, the idea of putting an article in front of the infinitive seems awkward (“the to write”). Consequently, the articular infinitive is not easily interpreted by English speakers and has been a subject of rich exploration for Greek scholars of the Classics as well as the New Testament.9

Is It All About the Article?

Historically, a number of broad conclusions have been drawn about the purpose of the article when it precedes the infinitive. The following comments will endeavor to survey the development of the articular infinitive and attempts to generalize its nature.

Robertson considered the story of the infinitive from Classical Greek to Hellenistic and beyond to be “one of the most interesting in the history of language.”10 Inside that tale, Moulton regarded the use of the article with the infinitive the infinitive’s “most characteristic feature.”11 The infinitive began as a substantive in the dative case and some observe that its functions reflect its dative roots.12 As use of the infinitive developed, the verbal distinctions of tense and voice were added to it and it began to have more verbal roles. At the same time that the infinitive was becoming more verbal, use of the article was maturing as well.13 When the article was then joined to the infinitive, the infinitive took on its full force as a verbal substantive.14 Thus, with and without the article, the infinitive had both a substantival nature and a verbal one.

In general, articular infinitives are used in the same syntactic functions as their anarthrous counterparts.15 Both function substantively as subjects or objects of a verb or in apposition to another substantive. Both function adverbially to indicate the purpose, result, or cause, etc. of another verb.16 However, note that articular infinitives do not seem to have every function in every case. Only the genitive articular infinitive is considered to have a wide variety of roles.

Most grammarians agree that there is no difference in meaning in the infinitive when it has the article and when it does not.17 Some have felt that the article makes the substantival character of the infinitive more distinct, though not at the expense of its verbal attributes.18 Robertson flatly disagreed with this principle, writing that although “One naturally feels that the articular infinitive is more substantival than the anarthrous . . . that is not correct.”19

Through the decades some semantic and some structural generalizations have been offered for the overarching purpose of the article with the infinitive. Perhaps the infinitive becomes more forcible or more prominent when it has the article20 or, because infinitives are essentially abstract nouns, the article is used with them as it is with other abstract substantives.21 BDF suggested that the article with the infinitive is normally anaphoric, though they gave examples that were “less clearly” or only “loosely” so.22

From a structural perspective, others have put forth that the article is present to supply the case ending or to indicate a function that corresponds with the given case.23 More recently, in his 2004 dissertation which analyzes the New Testament’s articular infinitives linguistically, Burk went further to emphasize the structural significance of the article.24 As he evaluated New Testament examples, he reasoned that the particular grammatical and lexical context of each articular infinitive required the article. The article served to make clear which function, of the numerous possibilities available to an infinitive without the article, the author had in mind. He argued, in conclusion, that the article does not have muchsemantic purpose, but mostly a structural one.25

What Do Infinitives Do?

Before introducing the functions of articular infinitives, it is important to understand the roles that anarthrous infinitives play. In their significant studies of the infinitive in biblical Greek, both Votaw (1896) and Boyer (1985) identified three functions as the most prevalent for anarthrous infinitives:26 First, the infinitive is the object of another verb. (This is a broad category that will be discussed further below.) Second, the anarthrous infinitive takes the role of subject. Third, it has the force of purpose or result.

Object infinitives in most grammars include (1) complementary infinitives, which “complete” the verbal idea for a helper verb,27 (2) infinitives of indirect discourse, which provide the content of a verb of perception or communication and (3) “true” direct objects of a transitive verb. Anarthrous infinitives can have all three of these functions.28 It may also be that only anarthrous infinitives, and not articular, can have the complementary function.29 This principle was suggested by Goodwin, 30 stated by Wallace,31 and is a corollary of the theory Burk puts forth in his dissertation.32 Complementary infinitives are identified by the verbs that they follow. Some of the most common helper verbs are ἄρχομαι (I begin), βούλομαι (I desire), δύναμαι (I am able), ζητέω (I seek), θέλω (I wish), and μέλλω (I am about to).33 Again, the categorization of a verbal noun as complementary is determined by whether or not it follows a verb that regularly requires an infinitive.

Given these functions of anarthrous infinitives, the uses of the verbal noun with the article become more specific and, therefore, fewer for each structural contour and case. The most recurrent form in which the articular infinitive is found is governed by a preposition. Almost every occurrence of the preposition with the articular infinitive is adverbial. With the prepositions εἰς and πρός, the accusative articular infinitive often has the force of purpose or result.34 But we remain most interested in the “simple” articular infinitives—those without a preposition—and whether they can have the same syntax. Of the simple articular infinitives, the most frequent case is genitive.

Analysis of Articular Infinitives

The infinitive with the genitive article and no preposition is well known to function both adverbially, especially with the force of purpose35 or result, and substantively, especially describing or defining36 other substantives.37 Since it is clearly documented to be both adverbial and especially to express purpose, it will not be in the scope of this paper. Instead, we will focus on the dative, nominative, and accusative cases to see what adverbial force they may have and whether any express purpose. Our discussion will include both a record of what is considered to be typical for each case and a review of the data from the three corpora.

Dative Articular Infinitives without a Governing Preposition

There is but one dative articular infinitive without a governing preposition in the New Testament (2 Cor 2:13) and only five more in the Septuagint (2 Chr 28:22; Eccl 1:16; 4 Macc 17:20-21 ter).38 (We did not find any in our initial searches of the Apostolic Fathers.39) All of have adverbial functions. The Old Testament and Apocrypha instances reflect the instrumental nature of the dative case; specifically, they are all manner or means.40 The New Testament occurrence is causal.41 The text reads οὐκ ἔσχηκα ἄνεσιν τῷ πνεύματί μου τῷ μὴ εὑρεῖν με Τίτον τὸν ἀδελφόν μου (not having rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother).

Nominative Articular Infinitives without a Governing Preposition

The neuter singular article τό is the same for both nominative and accusative. Therefore, the way to determine the case of a given τό plus infinitive construction is to first determine its role. Any occurrences of this structure that functions (1) as the subject of a verb, (2) in apposition to another nominative, or (3) as a predicate nominative will naturally be categorized in the nominative case. If an instance of τό with the infinitive appears to be modifying a verb and, therefore, adverbial, it is more logically categorized as an oblique case, i.e. accusative.

Our analysis of the three corpora found 146 infinitives with τό, not including the two in Phil 2:13.42 These are charted in the Appendix by case, function, and corpus. We categorized 89 as nominative (24 in the New Testament, 24 in the Old Testament, 22 in the Apocrypha, and 19 in the Apostolic Fathers). Of these, the overwhelming majority (85, or 95%) function as the subject of a verb. A lone instance (τὸ γνῶναι Jer 22:16) is a predicate nominative,43 while only three44 are in apposition to another substantive. Thus, in summary, nominative articular infinitives are strictly substantival and not adverbial.

Accusative Articular Infinitives without a Governing Preposition

Having seen that the articular infinitive without a governing preposition can be adverbial (or is primarily adverbial) in the dative case, but not for the nominative, we can now consider the same question for the accusative. The infinitive with the accusative article has two major functions that are documented in most grammars. It has three other uses that are less frequently recognized or simply noted as exceptions. There are fifty-seven (57) accusative articular infinitives in the three corpora, again not including the two in Phil 2:13. The breakdown is as follows: 15 in the New Testament, 19 in the Septuagint, and 23 in the Apostolic Fathers.

Direct Object

Similar to the nominative case, the infinitive with the accusative article is primarily substantival. Most often (39 times, or 68%) it functions as the direct object of a transitive verb. One clear example is in the Epistle to Diognetus 1:2. This father wrote of God as the one τοῦ καὶ τὸ λέγειν καὶ τὸ ἀκούειν ἡμῖν χορηγοῦντος45 (who empowers in you both the speaking and the listening). Another clear example is Jer 4:22, where the prophet’s words concerning the leaders of God’s people were translated as σοφοί εἰσιν τοῦ κακοποιῆσαι τὸ δὲ καλῶς ποιῆσαι οὐκ ἐπέγνωσαν (they are wise about doing evil, but they did not know doing good). The first of four infinitives in 2 Cor 8:11 is also an undisputed direct object infinitive. The text νυνὶ δὲ καὶ τὸ ποιῆσαι ἐπιτελέσατε is literally rendered, “But now also finish the doing.”

Regarding the purpose of the article in these situations, Burk argued that it clarifies the infinitive is the direct object of a transitive verb. With the presence of the article, the infinitive is not – as it could be if anarthrous – an infinitive of indirect discourse (τὸ ἀποθανεῖν Acts 25:11) or a complementary infinitive (τὸ ἀγαπᾶν Rom 13:8). Also, because some governing verbs can have both a transitive and intransitive sense, the article may serve to indicate that the governing verb should be considered with its transitive force and the infinitive as its direct object (τὸ ἐφρονεῖτε Phil 4:10).46


Seven (12%) of the accusative articular infinitives in our database are in apposition to another substantive. 2 Cor 2:1 is an example: ῎Εκρινα γὰρ ἐμαυτῷ τοῦτο τὸ μὴ πάλιν ἐν λύπῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν (For I determined this for myself, namely, that I would not come to you in sorrow again). The articular infinitive τὸ ἐλθεῖν is in apposition to the demonstrative pronoun τοῦτο. It serves to define the pronoun and could stand in the pronoun’s place (I determined I would not come to you in sorrow again).47 Together with its use as an object, the proportion of “simple” accusative articular infinitives without a governing preposition that are substantival is high (80%). Therefore, it is a statistical probability that any such infinitive will function in the place of a noun.

Object after Verbs of Hindering

Some classical Greek grammars have a separate category for the infinitive with τὸ μή. Goodwin gives the structure a lengthy discussion, 48 which is referenced but not duplicated in some other grammars.49 Robertson considers it a subset of object infinitives, while most recent New Testament grammars do not even mention it. The use of the negated articular infinitive warrants a different category when it logically follows a verb of hindering. There are many examples of the negative particle being present when the articular infinitive is categorized as a subject, object or other substantive: subject (Rom 14:21), object (2 Cor 2:1), and apposition (Rom 14:13, 2 Cor 10:2). The semantics, then, that result in the separate categorization are as follows: (1) The head verb is one of hindrance, prevention, omission or denial;50 (2) The negative should not be literally translated. Goodwin gives the illustration εἴργει σε τὸ μή τοῦτο ποιεῖν (he prevents you from doing this).51 A brief glance52 at the negated infinitives in the verses mentioned above shows that none of them meet either of these criteria.


At least three grammars mention an uncommon use of the accusative articular infinitive, which they label as absolute or adverbial. It is considered to be quite literary and not used in everyday speech. Classical Greek grammarian Jannaris describes it as follows: “In a loose or absolute sense, the infinitive stands, often with ὡς or with the article τό, thus forming an adverbial or parenthetical phrase.”53 The anarthrous examples he gives include ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖν (as it appears to me) and ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν (so to speak). This last phrase is seen in Heb 7:9, where it is the only undisputed New Testament instance of this type of infinitive. Jannaris’ articular examples strictly use the verb εἰμί (τὸ νῦν εἶναι “for the present”), but Turner also listed τὸ δοκεῖν (in appearance [only]54) and referenced two verses from our Apostolic Fathers database: Ignatius’ letters to the Trallians (Ign. Trall.) 10 and to the Smyrnaeans (Ign. Smyrn.) 2.55

Our database has a total of six infinitives in this category, all in Ignatius. The verses mentioned above are nearly identical. In reference to Christ they read, λέγουσιν, τὸ δοκεῖν πεπονθέναι αὐτόν, αὐτοὶ ὅντες τὸ δοκεῖν (they say that he suffered in appearance only [it is they who exist in appearance only!]).56 Additional examples are later in the letter to the Smyrnaeans (4:2): εἰ γὰρ τὸ δοκεῖν ταῦτα ἐπράχθη ὑπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, κἀγὼ τὸ δοκεῖν δέδεμαι (for if these things were done by our Lord in appearance only, then I am in chains in appearance only).57 It would be difficult to identify an alternative substantival role for τὸ δοκεῖν in these instances. In the first pair, another infinitive (πεπονθέναι) is the object (indirect discourse) of the head verb λέγουσιν. In the second example, the passive governing verb (ἐπράχθη) could not have a direct object and the infinitive is not likely in apposition to the subject ταῦτα, which is plural. Thus, we have instances of an adverbial use of accusative articular infinitives, but they are rare and associated with specific lexical forms: εἶναι, εἰπεῖν and δοκεῖν.


Finally, there are multiple instances of the accusative articular infinitive without a governing preposition that more than one grammar has considered as having the force of purpose or result. First, Viteau and Votaw both make reference to the infinitive in Ezra 6:8 (τὸ μὴ καταργηθῆνα) as having a telic force.58 Second, Moule wrote that the words which open 1 Thess 3:3 (τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι) are an exception to how final clauses are normally expressed with the infinitive in the New Testament.59 Third, Viteau agreed with Moule’s categorization of 1 Thess 3:3 and also included the two infinitives in 4:6. He alone suggested the possibility that “finalité” could be an official category of the infinitive with τό, based on the presence of the negative particle μή.60

We can further substantiate that these infinitives have a telic force with the following: Ezra 6:8 is set within King Darius’ letter validating those who were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. He commanded their neighbors to cover their expenses: ἐπιμελῶς δαπάνη ἔστω διδομένη τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐκείνοις τὸ μὴ καταργηθῆναι (let money be carefully given to these men so that they may not be hindered).61 The infinitive (τὸ μὴ καταργηθῆνα) is clearly adverbial.62 It modifies the verb δίδωμι, which regularly takes purpose infinitives. It could, therefore, be purpose, but it most likely has the force of natural result.63 The king wants the work to continue and the consequence of supporting it from his treasury is that the Israelites will not be delayed.64 Textual variants indicate that scribes had this understanding as well but felt discomfort with simple accusative articular infinitive. Some manuscripts insert the prepositions εἰς or πρός before the article.65

While there are at least five published opinions66 on the infinitive “to disturb no one”67 in 1 Thess 3:3, the force of design is seen by most.68 However, there is not agreement on whether it has the sense of purpose or result. The pertinent text reads καὶ ἐπέμψαμεν Τιμόθεον . . . εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμᾶς καὶ παρακαλέσαι ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν ταύταις (And we sent Timothy . . in order to strengthen and encourage you with regards to your faith, for the purpose of [?] no one being disturbed by these afflictions). The choice between purpose and result hinges on the εἰς τό plus infinitive purpose clause in v. 2. Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians either (1) for the parallel purposes of strengthening the faith of the church and making sure no one was disturbed; or (2) with the purpose of encouraging and the assumption that the natural result of his encouragement would be that believers were no longer disturbed. For the goals of this paper, the preference of one syntax over the other does not bear huge significance. Any sense of design, if the structural contours are the same, could affect our understanding of Phil 2:13. However, as seen with Ezra 6:8 and the other verses below, the semantics for this pattern seem more often to be (natural) result.

Most scholars69 see the two articular infinitives in 1 Thess 4:6 τὸ μὴ ὑπερβαίνειν καὶ πλεονεκτεῖν . . . τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ in apposition to the τοῦτο at the beginning of verse 3: “this is the will of God, . . . namely, that no one sins against or takes advantage of his brother.” Alternatively, the verbal nouns could have the force of design and provide either the motivation for or the natural result of abstaining from sexual immorality as described in verses 4 and 5: “so that no one sins against or take advantages of his brother.”70

The only other examples I found that were not cited by the grammars above are the infinitives in Isa 21:3. Two authors labeled these as objects.71 The verse reads ἠδίκησα τὸ μὴ ἀκοῦσαι ἐσπούδασα τὸ μὴ βλέπειν (I was wrong to not hear; I did my best to not see). Based on standard usage of the governing verbs, it is difficult to see how both infinitives can be true direct objects of transitive verbs or, as in the given translation, complementary infinitives.72 Both verbal nouns must have the same syntactical understanding, because their grammatical structure is parallel. The textual variants using τοῦ instead of τό guide us to a categorization of result.73 These indicate that scribes may have felt uncomfortable with the accusative in such a setting and wanted the more frequently used genitive. It is unlikely that prophet intended to not see or hear,74 so actual result is the better understanding.75 An adjusted translation would read, “I did wrong with the result that I did hear, I hurried with the result that I did not to see.”76

Conclusion Regarding Adverbial and Purpose Accusative Articular Infinitives

From the above data we can see that the infinitive with the accusative article can be adverbial in isolated situations in literary documents using the infinitives εἶναι, εἰπεῖν and δοκεῖν. Second, in the examples from Isa 21:3, Ezra 6:8, 1 Thess 3:3 and 1 Thess 4:6, we have six accusative articular infinitives that probably have the force of purpose or result. 77 The collection yields two summary statements: (1) The infinitive is negatedV; (2) The syntax is more likely (natural) result.

Probable Accusative Articular Infinitives Used for Result


Infinitive with modifiers

Isa 21:3 a

τὸ μὴ ἀκοῦσαι

Isa 21:3 b

τὸ μὴ βλέπειν

Ezra 6:8

τὸ μὴ καταργηθῆνα

1 Thess 3:3

τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι

1 Thess 4:6a

τὸ μὴ ὑπερβαίνειν

1 Thess 4:6b

(τὸ μὴ) πλεονεκτεῖν

These summary statements should be taken lightly. Six examples, even if there was no disagreement, is a very small sampling. It would be instructive to expand the analysis of the τὸ μή plus infinitive construction into Classical Greek, to see if there are more that fall into this category and further justify it. Possible explanations for this syntactical pattern are that (1) they could be a spin-off or misunderstanding of the genitive in the same function or (2) they could have their origin in the category of “objects after verbs of hindering.”

Philippians 2:13

Returning now to Phil 2:13, what is the proper understanding of the accusative articular infinitives in this key sanctification verse? Is there a syntactical interpretation that allows for the translation using “to will and to work”? Are these verbal nouns complementary? Could they have a telic force?

With respect to the complementary interpretation, the key question is whether or not the governing verb is one which regularly takes an infinitive.78 Is ἐνεργέω ever followed by an infinitive? In the New Testament and Septuagint, there were 35 occurrences of ἐνεργέω and its verbal cognates outside of Phil 2:13. None of them were followed by an infinitive.79 Outside the biblical corpora, we found the verb followed by an infinitive only twice.80 This void, together with the supposition that only anarthrous infinitives are complementary (see page 5 above), indicates that there must be better solution for Phil 2:13.

Regarding the infrequent adverbial use of simple accusative articular infinitives, it would have been interesting to consider a translation like, “the one who works in you both willingly and energetically for His good pleasure is God.” But, based on the infrequent examples and lexical limitations, this is highly unlikely.

Circling, finally, to the syntax of purpose or result, τὸ θέλειν and τὸ ἐνεργεῖν lack the negation present in all of the examples that likely carry a telic force. The structural contours of these infinitives have more in common with the majority of accusative articular infinitives that play a substantival role (cf. Diogn. 1:2). The semantics of Phil 2:13 cannot be understood as “the one who works in you for the purpose of you both willing and working for his good pleasure” or “the one who works in you with the result that you both will and work for his good pleasure.”

Instead, the grammarians have been proven right. Translations need to be careful to reflect that the best understanding of the infinitives in Phil 2:13 is that they are substantives and direct objects. The articles serve to indicate that ἐνεργῶν, though its lexical form also has an intransitive force, should be interpreted transitively as “producing, effecting or bringing about.”81 Thus, the best way to translate the verse is anyway that accommodates a transitive understanding of the participle and a substantival rendering of the infinitives:

The one producing in you both the willing and the working . . . 82

The one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort . . .83

The one who “gives you the intention and the powers to act . . .”84

We, then, when thinking about our sanctification, can see that God’s influence extends not only to what we do, but also to what we want to do. He asks us “to work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” and in Phil 2:13 we realize that we are able to do so only in utter dependence on what he has worked in. He supplies us with both “the determination to obey” and “the power to carry it out.”85 Consequently, our activity “takes place not in a legalistic spirit, with a view to gaining God’s favor, but rather in a spirit of humility and thanksgiving,” that he has given us everything we need to please him and he alone deserves the glory.86


Using Bible Works Accordance to access the primary data, as well as the compilations of other scholars,87 we identified 154 non-genitive articular infinitives not governed by a preposition. The following charts list dative, nominative, and accusative articular infinitives by corpus and by syntactical category.88 Where there were two or more infinitives covered by only one article, the subsequent infinitives were also considered articular as well.89

Dative Articular Infinitives without a Governing Preposition





Apostolic Fathers


2 Cor 2:13







2 Chr 28:22

Eccl 1:16

4 Macc17:20-21 ter




Total (6)





Nominative Articular Infinitives without a Governing Preposition





Apostolic Fathers


Matt 15:20

Matt 20:23

Mark 9:10

Mark 10:40

Mark 12:33 bis

Rom 7:18 bis

Rom 14:21 bis

1 Cor 7:26

1 Cor 11:6 bis

2 Cor 7:11

2 Cor 8:11

2 Cor 9:1

Phil 1:21 bis

Phil 1:22

Phil 1:24

Phil 1:29 bis

Heb 10:31

Ps 22:6

Ps 72:28

Ps 91:2 bis

Ps 132:1

Prov 9:10

Prov 13:15

Prov 16:7

Prov 25:7

Prov 31:18

Eccl 5:4 ter

Eccl 7:5

Eccl 7:18

Job 21:34

Job 28:28

Job 34:20 bis

Jer 2:17

Jer 2:19

Jonah 4:3

Dan 4:2291

Tob 12:6 bis

Jdt 12:18

Jdt 13:13

Wis 6:15

Wis 11:21

Wis 12:16

Wis 12:18

Wis 14:22

Wis 15:3

Sir 46:10

2 Macc 2:30 ter

2 Macc 2:32

3 Macc 2:2392

3 Macc 5:32

4 Macc 3:4

4 Macc 5:9

4 Macc 5:20

4 Macc 7:20

4 Macc 11:25

1 Clem. 27:2

Ign. Eph. 15:1

Ign. Magn. 5:2b

Ign. Rom. 2:2

Mart. Pol. 3:1

Pol. Phil. 5:3

Barn. 6:18

Barn. 10:2

Shep. 7:2

Shep. 23:6

Shep. 30:2b

Shep. 72:6

Diogn. 2:10

Diogn. 4:3

Diogn. 10:5 ter

Predicate Nominative


Jer 22:16



Rom 4:13


Ign. Eph. 3:2

Ign. Smyrn. 4:1

Total (89)





Accusative Infinitives without a Governing Preposition





Apostolic Fathers


Acts 25:11

Rom 13:8

1 Cor 14:39 bis

2 Cor 8:10 bis

2 Cor 8:11

2 Cor 10:2

Phil 2:6

Phil 2:13 bis

Phil 4:10

1 Sam 15:22

Job 31:11

Jer 4:22

Ezek 18:23

Ezek 33:11

Tob (S) 8:1 bis

2 Macc 2:28 bis

2 Macc 3:31

2 Macc 3:33

2 Macc 3:35

3 Macc 1:22

3 Macc 7:6

1 Clem. 52:1

2 Clem. 9:8

2 Clem. 19:1

Ign. Magn. 5:2a

Ign. Magn. 9:1

Ign. Trall. 2:1

Ign. Trall. 4:2

Ign. Trall. 6:2

Shep. 18:9

Shep. 38:2 bis93

Diogn. 1:2 bis

Diogn. 10:7

Diogn. 12:6







Rom 14:13

2 Cor 2:1

Ruth 3:10

Esth C:494

Wis 8:21

2 Clem. 3:1

Shep. 30:2a








Ign. Trall. 10:1 bis

Ign. Smyrn. 2:1 bis

Ign. Smyrn. 4:2 bis





1 Thess 3:3

1 Thess 4:6 bis

Ezra 6:8

Isa 21:3






Total (59)





1 Translations are mine unless otherwise noted.

2 The following grammarians directly state that τὸ θέλειν and. τὸ ἐνεργεῖν are direct objects: A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, 4th ed. (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1915), 1059; Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 602-3. The following commentators provide translations that reflect the same: “creating both the desire and the drive,” Gerald F. Hawthorne, Philippians, vol. 43, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco: Word, 1983), 96; “God inspires the earliest impulse; God directs the final achievement,” J.B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians (London: Macmillan, 1913; reprint, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 115. Marvin R. Vincent, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles to the Philippians and to Philemon, ICC (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1897), 66, more generally says that the infinitives are substantives. Others in their exegetical comments imply a direct object understanding: “he works in them…both the desire to act and the power to carry it out” F.F. Bruce, Philippians, ed. W. Ward Gasque, New International Biblical Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1989), 82, bold-face removed; The infinitives answer the question of what God is doing. “God empowers both our doing and the willing,” Gordon D. Fee, Philippians, eds. Grant R. Osborne, D. Stuart Briscoe, Haddon Robinson, IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1999), 105; “God provides both the will and the ability,” Frank Thielman, Philippians, NIVAC (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 138; “God’s work provided the motivation and the ability” Richard R. Melick, Jr., Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1991), 111.

3 ASV, ESV, KJV, NAB (Catholic Bible), NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV and RSV.

4 I found one writer who allowed for the force of purpose: Cain actually viewed the infinitives as direct objects, but added “their force is one of purpose or result,” Mark D. Cain, “The Contribution of Philippians 2:12-13 to the Pauline Doctrine of Sanctification” (Th.M. thesis: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1980), 31.

5 Similarly, only one writer clearly argued for complementary: James L. Boyer, Supplemental Manual of Information: Infinitive Verbs (Winona Lake, Ind.: Grace Theological Seminary, 1985), 41.

6 Approximately 1977 of 2291. All statistics in this paragraph, with the exception of the changes noted below, are from James L. Boyer, “The Classification of Infinitives: A Statistical Study,” Grace Theological Journal 6 (Spring 1985): 3-27. I presume the Nestle-Aland 26th edition was the text behind his GRAMCORD analysis.

7 I am assuming the five-case system and the nominative, genitive, dative or accusative cases, though Robertson made the same statement about the eight-case system, Grammar, 765.

8 Boyer’s statistics indicate 314 articular infinitives instead of 320. My total is adjusted to reflect research of τό plus infinitive in the NA27, where I found seven articular infinitives Boyer labeled as anarthrous (Accusative case: Romans 13:8; 1 Cor 14:39 bis. Nominative case: Romans 14:21 bis; 1 Cor 11:6 bis) and one anarthrous infinitive he labeled as having the accusative article (Luke 1:1). In addition, I categorized four articular infinitives he labeled accusative as nominative (Matt 20:23; Mark 10:40; Romans 4:13; 2 Cor 7:11). Thus, my totals by case are 24 “simple” nominative articular infinitives to his 16 and 17 “simple” accusatives to his 19.

9 Some of the most thorough English resources focusing exclusively on the articular infinitive are as follows: Dennis R. Burk, “A Linguistic Analysis of the Articular Infinitive in New Testament Greek” (Ph.D. dissertation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2004); Basil L Gildersleeve, “Contributions to the History of the Articular Infinitive,” Transactions of the American Philological Association (1878) ,5-19; ________, “The Articular Infinitive in Xenophon and Plato,” American Journal of Philology 3.10 (1882), 193-202; ________, “The Articular Infinitive Again,” American Journal of Philology 8.3 (1887) 329-337; Stephen Heiny, “The Articular Infinitive in Thucydides” (Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1973). A favorite foreign language resource among scholars is Paul Burguière, “Développement d’un Infinitif dit ‘Articulé,’”Histoire de l’infinitif en grec, Vol. 33, Études et commentaires (Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck, 1960), 99-126. Helpful articles regarding both articular and anarthrous infinitives include Hamilton Ford Allen, The Infinitive in Polybius Compared with the Infinitive in Biblical Greek (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1907); James L. Boyer, “The Classification of Infinitives: A Statistical Study,” Grace Theological Journal 6 (Spring 1985) 3-27; C.W. Votaw, The Use of the Infinitive in Biblical Greek (Chicago: published by the author, 1896).

10 Robertson, Grammar, 1056.

11 The article began as a demonstrative pronoun and grew to have an identification function and be intimately associated with substantives. James H. Moulton, Prolegomena, 3rd ed. , vol. 1, A Grammar of New Testament Greek (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1908), 213.

12 E.g., Nigel Turner, Syntax, Vol. 3, A Grammar of New Testament Greek (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1963), 134 (§1 subheading reads “with the function of a dative”).

13 H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (published in 1923 as A Manual for the Study of the Greek New Testament; reprint, New York: Macmillan, 1957), 212.

14 William W. Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb (Boston: Ginn, 1890), 315. Robertson, 1054.

15 Both Boyer, “Classification of Infinitives,” 27, and Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 48, assembled tables summarizing their conclusions which indicated that anarthrous and articular infinitives share almost all of their specific syntactical functions.

16 However, only articular infinitives can be the object of a preposition (save isolated and doubtful expressions with πρίν) and it seems that only anarthrous infinitives have absolute functions, though this comes up later in the paper.

17 Robertson, Grammar, 1063; Georg B. Winer, A Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament: Prepared as a Solid Basis for the Interpretation of the New Testament, 7th ed., enlarged and improved by G. Lünemann, trans. J. Henry Tharer (Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1892), 320.

18 William W. Goodwin, Greek Grammar, revised by Charles B. Gulick (Boston: Ginn, 1930), 325. Dana and Mantey concurred, saying, “Nothing distinguishes the noun force of the infinitive more than its use with the article,” Manual Grammar, 211.

19 Robertson, Grammar, 1058.

20 Winer, Grammar, 320, 323.

21 Robertson, Grammar, 765.

22 Friedrich Blass and Albert Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, trans. and enlarged Robert W. Funk (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), §399 [Hereafter BDF].

23 Turner, Syntax, 140; Dana and Mantey, Manual Grammar, 213.

24 Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” see especially 2-5, 54 (chart), 55-85.

25 In his earlier thesis, “The Meaning of Harpagmos in Philippians 2:6,” (Th.M. thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary, 2000), Burk specifically took down BDF’s presumption that the article with the infinitive has an anaphoric nature.

26 Opt. cited Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, and Boyer “Classification of Infinitives,” with detailed data available in Supplemental Manual.

27 Wallace broke with this tradition and treated complementary infinitives as adverbial though he allowed for the object/substantival categorization, Exegetical Syntax, 598-599.

28 Though anarthrous infinitives as “true” direct objects are rare. Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 602, finds only one (ἔχειν John 5:26); But consider also Luke 23:2 (διδόναι) and 1 Tim 4:3 (γαμεῖν), BDAG, κωλύω, 580.

29 Contra Boyer, “Classification of Infinitives,” 7, where he indicates that sixteen complementary infinitives have an article (eight genitive and eight accusative). Burk disputed each of these, categorizing the eight genitive articular infinitives (Luke 1:9, 4:42; Acts 3:12; 20:20 bis; 20:27; Rom 15:22; 2 Cor 1:8) as various adverbial functions and the eight accusatives as nominative subjects (Matt 20:23; Mark 10:40), anarthrous (Luke 1:1), or direct objects (Acts 25:11; 2 Cor 8:10 bis; Phil 2:13 bis), “Linguistic Analysis,” see 172, 171, and 81-83.

30 “The object infinitive takes the article chiefly after verbs which do not regularly take the simple infinitive, or when the relation of the infinitive to the verb is less close than it usually is,” Goodwin, Greek Grammar, 325, italics mine.

31 Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 598.

32 His thesis in general was that the article served a structural purpose to specify the function of the infinitive in its full grammatical and lexical context. Specifically with accusative articular infinitives, he reasoned that the article was there to show the verb was transitive and a direct object. See his explanation of Rom 13:8 below.

33 Additional information on two verbs from this list (Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 598) may help substantiate the proposal that complementary infinitives do not take the article.: First, βούλομαι rarely occurs without an infinitive and only once with an accusative object. As an example of a verb that seems to generally require a complementary infinitive, it does not occur in our database or in other early Christian literature with an articular infinitive (BDAG, 182). Second, ὀφείλω can be followed by an accusative substantive of an infinitive. Burk reasoned that the purpose of the article with the infinitive (ἀγαπᾶν) following this verb in Romans 13:8 was to clarify the meaning of ὀφείλω which is “ought, should, must” when followed by an infinitive, but “owe” when followed by an accusative object, “Linguistic Analysis,” 82 (cf. BDAG, 743).

34 The other three prepositions that make up the top five most frequently used with infinitives in the New Testament are ἐν with the dative (generally designating contemporaneous time or means), διά plus the accusative (indicating cause), and μετά plus the accusative (carrying the force of antecedent time). Frequency gathered from Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 169.

35 E.g., Luke 1:77,79.

36 I.e., epexegetical (e.g., Rom 15:23) and appositional infinitives, respectively. See Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 606, for the distinction.

37 Two other observations about the genitive articular infinitive and how its functions compare and contrast with those of the accusative contributed on the fringe to the purpose of this paper: (1) Its role as an object of any kind (complementary, indirect discourse, or direct object of a transitive verb) is debated. (Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 610.) In addition to the genitive articular infinitives Boyer labeled as complementary (see note 29) he listed another eight as objects of indirect discourse (Luke 4:10; 5:7; 9:51; Acts 15;20; 21:12; 23:20; 27:1; Jas 5:17), Supplemental Manual, 36-37. Burk, for one, disagreed and categorized the first six as purpose and the last two as epexegetical, “Linguistic Analysis,” 172 (Table 20).

(2) Paul used the genitive articular infinitive, thirteen times, “but there is not one in which purpose is unmistakable,” Moulton, Prolegomena, 216-217. Klund further examined the five instances where at least one commentator saw the force of purpose (Rom 6:6; 11:10; 1 Cor 10:13; 2 Cor 7:12; Phil 3:10) and concluded “Paul never used this idiom in the New Testament,” Robert W. Klund, “The use of the infinitive of purpose in the New Testament” (Th.M. thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1994), 50-51. When wanting to express purpose with the infinitive, Paul chose the anarthrous infinitive or the prepositions εἰς or πρός with the accusative article, see 52-57.

38 Votaw gave these five references and Isa 56:6 from his analysis of the Swete edition of the Septuagint, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 29. Rahlfs’ text was the same for all but Isa 56:6 where the genitive article was used instead of the dative, Septuaginta, ed. Alfred Rahlfs (Stuttgart: Württembergische Bibelanstalt/Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1935). Cf. Pentti Aalto, Studien zur Geschichte des Infinitives im Griechischen, Series B, Vol. 80.2, Soumalaisen Tiedeakatemian Toimituksia Annales Academiæ Scientiarum Fennicæ (Helsinki: Soumalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1953), 51-57.

39 The electronic tool used to access the Apostolic Fathers was Accordance, version 6.9.1, Bible software for Macintosh computers, 2005. The results were checked against The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, updated, ed. and rev. Michael W. Holmes (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999).

40 Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 77-80; Robertson, Grammar, 1061-2; Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 29.

41 BDF, §401; Turner, Syntax, 142; Winer, Grammar, 328. Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 597 n.24, also allowed for contemporaneous time, cf. NASB translation.

42 The two infinitives in Phil 2:13 are not included in any counts or statistics in the body of this paper. However, for the benefit of anyone who chooses to reference this document, the final categorization of these infinitives is reflected in the charts in the appendix and the totals adjusted accordingly.

43 The text reads οὐ τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ μὴ γνῶναί σε ἐμέ; (Is this not you knowing me?). Τhe choices for the subject of this question from the Lord are the articular infinitive τὸ γνῶναί and the pronoun τοῦτό. In the pecking order for determining the subject of an equative verb, the pronoun has priority over an articular substantive. If the pronoun was interrogative, it would be the predicate nominative. τοῦτό is demonstrative. Therefore, it is the subject and the infinitive is a predicate nominative. See Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 43-45.

44 τὸ εἶναι Rom 4:13, τὸ ζῆν Ign. Eph. 3:2, τὸ ζῆν Ign. Smyrn. 4:1.

45 As further evidence that these are direct objects, the lexical form χορηγέω does not take an infinitive in any of its New Testament or Septuagint occurrences (1 Kgs 4:7; 5:1; Jdt. 12:2; 1 Macc 14:10; 2 Macc 3:3; 4:49; 9:16; 3 Macc 6:30; 6:40; 7:18; Sir 1:10, 26; 18:31; 39:33; 44:6; Dan 4:12; Bel 1:31; 2 Cor 9:10; 1 Pet 4:11), but frequently takes an accusative substantive (1 Macc 14:10; Sir 1:10; 1:26; 39:33; 2 Co. 9:10). Cf. BDAG, 1087.

46 Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 81-83.

47 Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 606.

48 Goodwin, Moods and Tenses, 324-326.

49 Contra BDF §399(3), which seems to imply that all of these negated examples should be in their own category.

50 There is overlap between the verbs Goodwin gives as examples and the governing verbs in our database with the lexical form κωλύω (I prevent), Greek Grammar, 326-7. However, 1 Cor 14:39 τὸ λαλεῖν μὴ κωλύετε γλώσσαις (do not forbid speaking in tongues) is not an example of τὸ μή after verbs of hindering, because the μή modifies the imperative κωλύετε, not the infinitive λαλεῖν.

51 Goodwin, Greek Grammar, 327.

52 The four mentioned verses are listed below:

Rom 14:21

καλὸν τὸ μὴ φαγεῖν κρέα μηδὲ πιεῖν

To not eat meat nor drink wine is good.

2 Cor 10:2

δέομαι δὲ τὸ μὴ . . . θαρρῆσαι

I beg. . . to not have to be bold.

2 Cor 2:1

῎Εκρινα γὰρ . . . τοῦτο τὸ μὴ . . . ἐλθεῖν.

For I determined this . . . namely, that I would not come

Rom 14:13

ἀλλὰ τοῦτο κρίνατε μᾶλλον, τὸ μὴ τιθέναι πρόσκομμα

But let us rather decide this, namely, to not put a stumbling block

53 Antonius N. Jannaris, An Historical Greek Grammar Chiefly of the Attic Dialect (London: Drukery Lokay, 1897; reprint Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968), 489. Cf. Goodwin, Greek Grammar, 323-4; Turner, Syntax, 136; Winer, Grammar, 317.

54 Also, “in semblance” or “seemingly.” See BDAG (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), δοκέω 255. See also the entry for πάσχω, 785, which is the governing verb in Ign. Trall. 10 and Ign. Smyrn. 2. The lexicon further indicates that the use of πάσχω in these verses is intransitive and that τὸ δοκεῖν is a (descriptive) addition.

55 Turner, Syntax, 136.

56 The Apostolic Fathers, 185.

57 Ibid., 187.

58 Joseph Viteau, Etude sur le grec du Nouveau Testament: Le verb, syntax des propositions (Paris: Emile Bouillon, 1893; microfiche reproduction Chicago: American Theological Library Association, 1986), 164; Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 21.

59 C. F. D. Moule, An Idiom book of the New Testament Greek, 2nd ed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959), 140. Boyer agreed that the infinitive is telic, but could not decide between purpose and result, “Classification of Infinitives,” 12 n.25

60 “The accusative of infinitive marks the finalité [purpose] in the two following passages where it is emploied with negation,” Etude sur le grec du Nouveau Testament, 184. Translation provided by on March 17, 2006 where the French reads “L'accusatif de l'infinitif marque la finalité dans les deux passages suivants où il est employé avec négation.”

61 This translation is influenced by Brenton, Septuagint, 624.

62 τὸ μὴ καταργηθῆνα modifies the periphrastic imperative ἔστω διδομένη. None of the substantival possibilities for the τό plus infinitive construction work here. It is not the subject, because δαπάνη is. It can’t be a direct object because passive verbs are by nature intransitive. It could possibly be in apposition to δαπάνη (cf. Romans 4:13 where the neuter articular infinitive is in apposition to a feminine [articular] subject), but that’s not likely.

63 Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 592, makes a distinction between actual and natural results. “Actual result is indicated in the context as having occurred; natural result is what is assumed to take place at a time subsequent to that indicated in the context” [italics his].

64 The Hebrew is alternately translated into English as result (KJV, NIV, NLT) or manner (“without delay” ESV, NAB, NASB, NJB, NRSV, RSV).

65 Esdrae liber II, ed. Robert Hanhart (Göttigen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 104, lists the following for each variant: εἰς 121-130-236-314-762; πρός L (a “rezension” which includes 19-93-108). L and 121 also add τὸ ἔργον as the accusative subject of the infinitive.

66 The accusative articular infinitive τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι is not:

(a) an object of the preposition εἰς (contra Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 81 n.103), because it is not joined to the other infinitives under the same article nor with a connecting conjunction;

(b) in apposition to the εἰς τό clause in verse 2 (contra George Milligan, St. Paul's Epistles to the Thessalonians [Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, 1980], 38), because in the rendering “we sent Timothy… to strengthen you … , namely, that no one be disturbed,” the last clause “that no one be disturbed” only awkwardly provides a definition for strengthening (See Wallace’s clarification regarding infinitives in apposition, Exegetical Syntax, 606);

(c) an object after verbs of hindering (contra James E. Frame, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, ICC [Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1912], 127-8; BDF also seems to allow, §399 [3]), because only the infinitive itself (“to be deceived/disturbed”) gives the notion of hindering. None of the three possible governing verbs: πέμπω (to send) στηρίζω (to strengthen) or παρακαλέω (to encourage) have the slightest idea of hindrance. In addition, the negation comes through in the translation: “that no one be disturbed”;

or (d) the object of [i] ἐπέμψαμεν, [ii] στηρίξαι, or [iii] παρακαλέσαι (contra Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 22; Robertson, Grammar, 1424; though neither specified which verb they thought the infinitive was an object of), because [i] πέμπω takes either a direct object of person in the accusative (which it has here, Τιμόθεον) or direct object of thing and dative of person (BDAG, 794-5); [ii] στηρίζω already has direct object ὑμᾶς; and [iii] παρακαλέω generally takes either accusative of persons or is followed by an anarthrous infinitive (BDAG, 764-5).

67 The interpretation of this phrase could be complicated by the use of the hapax legomena σαίνω. BDAG gives two potentially renderings for the term in its passive voice (1) “to be deceived” or (2) “to be shaken or disturbed,” 910.

68 Besides the grammarians named above, the commentators with this opinion include: J.B. Lightfoot, Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul, Classic Commentary Library (MacMillan, 1895; reproduced, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1957), 41-2; D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, NAC (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995), 102; I. Howard Marshall, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), 91; Leon Morris, The Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians: An Introduction and Commentary, rev. ed., Tyndale (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984), 71; Earl J. Richard, First and Second Thessalonians, ed. Daniel J. Harrington, Sacra Pagina (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1995), 147; Charles A. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 129; David J. Williams, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, New International Biblical Commentary, vol. 12 (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1992),58; BDAG, σαίνω, 910, also indicates a result interpretation in both of their renderings of the verb: “so that no one might be deceived” or “so that no one might be shaken or disturbed.”

69 Boyer, “Classification of Infinitives,” 17 n. 32; Robertson, Grammar, 1424; Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 29.

70 Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 21, cited Lightfoot having this opinion in Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul.

71 Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 132 n.9; Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 22.

72 The first head verb αδικέω (to do wrong) takes only persons as direct objects, BDAG, 20; While the second governing verb σπουδάζω (to proceed quickly) almost always occurs with an anarthrous infinitive, BDAG, 939.

73 Isaias, ed. Joseph Ziegler (Göttigen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1939), 194, gives numerous witnesses for τοῦ in place of the first τό and the second.

74 Thus, the scribal variants also have a correction of the governing verbs to a third person plural: they did wrong…they hurried. Ibid.

75 ESV, NRSV and RSV also translate the Hebrew with the syntax of result, but KJV, NASB, NIV, NJB, NLT see an adverbial force.

76 The two English translations of the Septuagint that used the force of result were working from manuscripts with the τοῦ variant: Sir L. C. L. Brenton, The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament and Apocrypha: With an English Translation and with Various Readings and Critical Notes (London: Samuel Bagster, n.d.), 854-5; Charles Thomson, trans, The Septuagint Bible, the Oldest Version of the Old Testament, ed., rev., and enlarged C. A. Muses (Indian Hills, Colo.: Falcon's Wing Press, 1954), 1085.

77 Another instance from the Apostolic Fathers may also be result and fall into this pattern. Shepherd of Hermas 38:2 (middle of verse) reads ἐὰν γὰρ ἐγκρατεύσῃ τὸ ἀγαθὸν μὴ ποιεῖν, ἁμαρτίαν μεγάλην ἐργάζῃ· ἐὰν δὲ ἐγκρατεύσῃ τὸ πονηπὸν μὴ ποιεῖν, δικαιοσύνην μεγάλην ἐργαζῃ. It translates, “For if you exercise self-control regarding what is good, with the result that you not do it, you commit a major sin. But if you exercise self-control regarding evil, so as not to do it, you achieve great righteousness,” The Apostolic Fathers, 395. The history of this translation begins with J.B. Lightfoot who frequently saw the force of result in the τὸ μή plus infinitive construction (see 1 Thess 3:3 and 4:6 above), J.B Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, ed. J.R. Harmer (London: Macmillan, 1891; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1970). However, the governing verb ἐγκρατεύομαι appears repeatedly in this verse with genitive, accusative, ἀπο, and ἐπι objects (BDF sees a transitive verb, §154). It is possible Hermas was trying to vary style rather than syntax.

78 Note that Boyer does list ἐνεργέω as a verb which takes complementary infinitives, but the two (2) instances which are the basis for the verb being included are the two infinitives in Phil 2:13, “Classification of Infinitives,” 9. BDF does not include ἐνεργέω on their similar list, §392.

79 ἀγαθοεργέω (Acts 14:17; 1 Tim 6:18); ἐνεργέω (Num 8:24; 1 Esdr 2:16; Prov 21:6; 31:12; Wis 15:11; 16:17; Isa 41:4; Matt 14:2; Mark 6:14; Rom 7:5; 1 Cor 12:6; 12:11; 2 Cor 1:6; 4:12; Gal 2:8; 3:5; 5:6; Eph 1:11; 1:20; 2:2; 3:20; Col 1:29; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Thess 2:7; Jas 5:16); συνεργέω (1 Esdr 7:2; 1 Macc 12:1; Mark 16:20; Rom 8:28; 1 Cor 16:16; 2 Cor 6:1; Jas 2:22).

80 LSJ, 564, does not indicate that ἐνεργεω takes the infinitive.

BDAG, 335, referenced one instance of ἐνεργέω with an infinitive: St. Justin Martyr, Apology I, 62:1, who wrote: οἱ δαίμονες . . . ἐνήργηραν καὶ ῥαντίζειν ἑαυτοὺς τοὺς εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ αὐτῶν ἐπιβαίνοντας (The demons . . . arranged that those who enter their temples . . . , should also sprinkle themselves). Greek text via Edgar J. Goodspeed, Die ältesten Apologeten: Texte mit kurzen Einleitungen, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984, 71. English translation via St. Justin Martyr: The First and Second Apologies, trans. Leslie W. Barnard, ed. Walter J. Burghardt, John J. Dillon, Dennis D. McManus, Ancient Christian Writers, no. 56 (New York: Paulist Press, 1997), 67.

Observation of about 120 first century occurrences of ἐνεργεω via TLG, or Thesaurus Linguae Graecae CD ROM E (University of California, 1999), yielded the second instance: Ignatius Scr. Eccl. and the work Epistulae interpolatae et epistulae suppositiciae reads, διὸ καὶ ἔν τισιν ἐνεργεῖ ἀρνεῖσθαι τὸν σταυρόν (For this reason he works also in some to refuse the cross.)

81 BDAG, 335; Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 83.

82 Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 602.

83 NET.

84 NJB. For related translations, see also NLT and The New Testament: Recovery Version, translated by John C. Ingalls, Bill Duane, Albert Knoch, Witness Lee [Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985], 968.

85 Peter T. O’Brien, The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 287.

86 Moisés Silva, Philippians, 2nd ed., Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 123.

87 The New Testament text used was the Nestle-Aland 27th edition. The scholars I referenced and compared for the final list of New Testament articular infinitives were Boyer, Supplemental Manual, 35-42; Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 59-84; ________, “Harpagmos in Philippians 2:6,” 77-79; and Robertson, Grammar, 1424.

The Septuagint text used was Septuaginta, ed. Alfred Rahlfs (Stuttgart, Germany: Württembergische Bibelanstalt / Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft [German Bible Society], 1935; reprint 1971). Searches were completed via BibleWorks™ 6.0.005y, copyright © 1992-2003. I compared and referenced the data with the following indispensable resources: Pentti Aalto, Studien zur Geschichte des Infinitives im Griechischen, Series B, Vol. 80.2, Soumalaisen Tiedeakatemian Toimituksia Annales Academiæ Scientiarum Fennicæ (Helsinki: Soumalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1953), 44-65; Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 131-135; Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen, Die Infinitive in der Septuaginta, Soumalaisen Tiedeakatemian Toimituksia Annales Academiæ Scientiarum Fennicæ, series B, vol. 132.1 (Helsinki: Soumalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1965), 192; and Votaw, Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 22, 27-29, 43, 45.

The Apostolic Fathers were searched via Accordance version 6.9.1, Bible software for Macintosh computers, 2005, and checked against The Apostolic Fathers, updated edition.

88 It is important to note as well that there are a few infinitives some may categorize as articular, but I did not. I concluded that the article was modifying a different part of speech. (e.g., Ezek 13:22; 17:14; Acts 4:18; Phil 4:2; Rom 15:5).

89 e.g., Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor 11:6; 1 Thess. 4:6. This circumstance is different from the two infinitives in Phil 2:13 which are both articular.

90 Where different, verse references follow the Septuagint, not modern translations.

91 To clarify, this reference is not Theodotion’s version of Daniel, but the “original” (Old Greek) translation.

92 Others have considered this infinitive an object: Burk, “Linguistic Analysis,” 132 n.9; Votaw Infinitive in Biblical Greek, 22.

93 Possibly result, see note 77.

94 Fifth verse in the addition to Esther at the end of chapter 4.

Related Topics: Sanctification, Grammar

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